NEWS OF THE NASAL Archives

NEWS BRIEFS: Comic-Con 2014

police dog
The creator of The Simpsons shows off his sweet dance moves, the crew dashes the hopes of Comic-Con attendees, Homer chokes, Bob from Bob's Burgers flies, and a showrunner becomes a lawbreaker.
  • Witness the raw acting talent of Matt Groening as he interacts with a hologram version of Homer. [YouTube]
  • A couple of of the questions from the audience at the Simpsons panel seemed a wee bit hostile:
    Is there any way to inject fresh blood into the series? "No!" we're told. But Matt explains that no-one ever leaves the show once they've joined the series.
    The next young fan asks if The Simpsons is ever going to end? There are claps as Matt says the show is "going to be around for a while". "We've got two years to run it into the ground and ten years before it ends," he jokes.

    When one of the most-asked questions about your show is about when it's ending, maybe it's a sign you've worn out your welcome? [Digital Spy]

  • Maybe it's funnier in context, but I'm a little baffled someone somewhere decided this scene where Homer struggles to breathe as Lisa helplessly watches was hilarious enough to show at Comic-Con. [YouTube]
  • Here's some footage from the upcoming Simpsons/Family Guy crossover featuring a surprise cameo from none other than Bob Belcher... which is no longer a surprise, sorry. [Entertainment Weekly]

Al Jean Powerless To Stop Rape Joke

al jean
Remember the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover? Still happening, and it looks like the Family Guy writers are bringing their A game with more of their atrocious rape jokes. Luckily there's a man who, positively can do, everything he possibly can to keep rape culture at bay: Simpsons executive producer Al Jean.
Jean asked for some minor tweaks but, other than that, he was fine with what the Family Guy writers came up with.

[...]

"We said, 'Can you cut just one rape joke?'" Jean recalled, straight-faced. "They said, 'No,' and we said, 'OK.'"

Well, at least he tried.

[The Province]

Al Jean's Rocky First Week on Twitter

al jean
Simpsons showruner Al Jean recently joined the social dating app "Twitter," and has already committed many a faux pas. It's always funny to see new users struggle with the learning curve, doubly so if it's someone semi-famous.

Here's a DEVASTATING TAKEDOWN of his initial tweets from friend-of-the-site hammster, with links added:

his first tweet he refers to joining twitter as "entering twitter". entering.
his second tweet tells me to watch a couch gag on youtube without linking to it
his third tweet he misspells excited as "exicted"
the only tweet he has favourited is a manual retweet of a tweet from the official simpsons account RATHER THAN THE ACTUAL TWEET

Simpsons Showrunner Al Jean Vows To Kill Again

Al JeanSimpsons executive producer Al Jean, who in the past few years has killed off Homer's mom and the real Fat Tony for no real reason, has vowed to kill again, this time with more hype:

"We're working on a script where a character will pass away," he confirmed. "I'll give a clue: The actor who plays the character won an Emmy for playing that character. I won't say who it is."

Will nothing stop this man's insatiable bloodlust??

Now the guessing game begins, for this episode that likely won't air for another year! The Emmy clue doesn't really narrow things down, because five of the six main voice actors have won Emmys for their performances. That would mean Harry Shearer's characters are safe, but look at this scene and tell me they're not already dead.

The smart money is on:

Rabbi Krustofski (Jackie Mason): Krusty's estranged father, old, rarely appears, voiced by guest star, nowhere else to go with the character.

Jacqueline Bouvier (Julie Kavner): Marge's mom, old, rarely appears, difficult voice to do, death would keep viewers from noticing how Marge sounds exactly like her these days.

Just Stamp The Ticket Guy (Hank Azaria): Perhaps the most iconic character, death would bring guaranteed ratings.

Here's some characters that aren't likely to die but are being mentioned in other articles anyway:

Princess Penelope (Anne Hathaway): Krusty's wife. You didn't forget Krusty was married, did you? Or that he's still a Congressman? She's not a particularly memorable character, so why bother killing her off?

Sideshow Bob (Kelsey Grammer): I doubt they would kill him off without a guarantee that this is the last season (still waiting on renewal, by the way). He's a costumed character at Universal Studios Florida and it seems weird to have him alive for The Simpsons Ride while dead in the series.

Mrs. Krabappel (Marcia Wallace): Are they heartless enough to kill off Ned Flanders's wife a second time? Bart would need a replacement teacher, and the show rarely (if ever) replaces a character... Gil is occasionally a lawyer for the Simpsons, but I wouldn't say he's a straight-up replacement for Lionel Hutz.

Fun fact: Comic Book Resources posted about this more than a week ago, but for some reason it's only just now trending, due to this Sun News article. It seems to use the exact same quotes, so either they sat on the story for a week or Al Jean robotically uses the exact same quotes every time he talks to the press... which is exactly the kind of thing a serial killer would do.

[Comic Book Resources]

Al Jean Tries To Blame Matt Groening For Justin Bieber Cameo

So, pop superstar Justin Bieber had a small 10-second cameo in last Sunday's Simpsons episode, which seemed to disappoint everyone. Bieber fans didn't like it because it was too short, unbeliebers thought it was too long, and Bieber himself initially tried to suppress all evidence of it last year.

Perhaps wary of The Controversy, executive producer Al Jean attempted to deflect blame for it onto his boss, Matt Groening:

According to Jean, Groening requested that Bieber be worked into an episode. "I think he has a family member who was a fan," Jean says. "I think he's a fan, too. So he asked us to find a place to use him. I think [Bieber] had also met Matt and wanted to be on the show."

Matt Groening, a Bieber fan? It's possible, but Groening - a former music critic - is known for his eclectic music taste. He likes oddball rock & roll, Balinese gamelan music, and Romanian brass bands. He said pop music "usually sounds like the audio equivalent of CGI." He wrote a biography of The Residents. He's curated the All Tomorrow's Parties progressive music festival twice. He guest-edited an anthology of music writing. He's let indie bands Tender Forever and Electrelane hang out at his house. He's a big Captain Beefheart fan. He interviewed and was friends with Frank Zappa.

Nice try, Al.

[Rolling Stone]

Al Jean Would Like 30 Seasons or 636 Episodes, Whichever Comes First

al jeanTo the surprise of no one, Simpsons showrunner Al Jean told Entertainment Weekly he'd like to see the show continue past the 25 seasons guaranteed by Friday's re-negotiation deal:

"I honestly think that 30 is a goal to shoot for. I want to put The Simpsons at 30 seasons before the end of the decade," he quips, nodding to John F. Kennedy's moon speech. "Forty sounds insane, but 25 sounded insane 20 years ago. Having seen how far it's gone, it's not for me to cap it... And Gunsmoke did 635 episodes [a record for a prime-time series], so that's something to shoot for, too."

Even though he's supposedly quipping, keep in mind he can recite how many episodes Gunsmoke did off-hand. Please, nobody tell him about the animes.

Simpsons Producer Admits Show is Stale!

Executive producer Al Jean, November 29, 2010:

THR: Will there be a third chopper gag?

Jean: I think at that point you're becoming stale. I believe that something is only funny twice.

The Simpsons, December 12, 2010:

fox news chopper

Producers Not Hiding Any Terrible Secrets, Tried To Stop Tell-All Book Anyway

Al Jean, executive producer and current showrunner:


"Nobody's perfect," Mr. Jean said in a telephone interview. "But I don't think we have terrible secrets to hide."

John Ortved, author of The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History:

The story ran in the August 2007 issue, and by the fall I'd signed on with Faber and Faber to expand the material into a book. When word of this got out, [executive producer James L.] Brooks sent a letter to every current Simpsons employee, and all the former ones he thought mattered, asking them not to speak to me. The writers' agents sent denial after denial for interview requests and eventually stopped responding altogether. When I asked a mutual acquaintance to put in a query with Ari Emanuel, chief of the Endeavor agency (now WME Entertainment) - where many of the Simpsons writers were represented - Emanuel told my friend he couldn't even begin to talk about it. James L. Brooks was on the warpath.

The Simpsons is Four Times Better Than The Daily Show

al jeanAfter twenty years on the air, it should be hard to come up with fresh, new ideas for the show, right? Not so, says executive producer Al Jean:


If you look at The Daily Show, which is obviously on daily, I mean, they're still hilarious after ten years. And we're only on weekly, so we really have the liberty of picking and choosing the ideas that we turn into episodes. The world is a very interesting place and The Simpsons is a great way to view it.

See, The Daily Show comes on four times a week and it's hilarious. Well, what if you took only the best parts of those four episodes and crammed them into one episode a week? That would be four times as hilarious, and that's what The Simpsons is, supposedly. [TV Squad]

Homer Votes For Change, Al Jean Becomes Showrunner-For-Life

In the opening of the upcoming annual "Treehouse of Horror" episode, Homer attempts to vote for Barack Obama, remarking that "it's time for change," but his EVIL ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINE marks it as a vote for John McCain. A scuffle ensues, and the machine ends up killing him. (SPOILER ALERT: The previous two sentences may have contained spoilers).

In an eerie parallel, Al Jean has entered his eighth consecutive season of running the show, more than any other showrunner's "term of office" in the show's history. If his two years co-running the show with Mike Reiss during seasons 3 and 4 are taken into account, Jean will have been a showrunner for half the show's run by the end of this season. Is it time for change? Even Homer thinks so. [Wonkette]

Ringo Starr No Longer Accepting Fan Mail

ringoWas the scene in "Brush With Greatness" where Ringo Starr personally answers 25-year old fanmail based on real life? It certainly seems that way, as the former Beatle has kindly asked his fans not to send him any more mail after October 20th. Does this mean he expects to die in late 2033? Developing... [AV Club]

20 Years: A Look Back With Vague, Hazy Remembrances By Al Jean

Is executive producer Al Jean hepped up on goofballs, or is he just reading off a generic press release? Read this in a stoner voice and decide for yourself:

Jean recalled the magic of making the first full-length episode, The Simpsons' Christmas Special. "That show - wow - it was one of the best things," said Jean, who has served as the show's head writer and, since 2001, its executive producer... "It had emotion, humor - it was just beautiful," Jean recalled... "A lot of times, we first think about who we would like to meet and then write a character for them," he said. "The show has had a lot of success in getting people to come on." When asked for some his favorite celebrity performers, Jean immediately ticks off names: "Well, Phil Hartman, of course. Kelsey [Grammer] has been great. Jon Lovitz is really amazing. Eric Idle was great. We even had George and Paul and Ringo from the Beatles... It was very exciting when Liz Taylor came on to do Maggie's voice. She said one word, 'Daddy,'" Jean recalled. "Ms. Taylor had a little dog - and a ring bigger than my fist. It was all very 'movie star.'"
IMPORTANT NEWS DISCLOSURE: A publicist for parade.com sent me an e-mail and asked if "[I] could make this announcement on [my] website and include a link to Parade.com" [Parade]

Al Jean: "I Think The Last Couple Years Have Been Among Our Best"

You know those episodes I executive produced? Yeah, they're some of the best ones ever. Not really that surprising if you think about it. I'm pretty much the King Midas of the show. I know it looks like I'm bragging but I'm actually being quite modest here. [IGN]